46% of US counties are missing a cardiology practice: 9 things to know

Only 54 percent of U.S. counties have a cardiology practice, according to new research by GoodRx.

Many counties without a cardiology practice were in the South and in areas with a sizable population of Black residents, defined as counties where at least 14.2 percent of the residents identified as Black, according to a May 2 news release. They found more than 16.8 million Black Americans live in counties with limited or no cardiology specialists.

GoodRx used data from HealthLink Dimensions to determine where cardiology practices were and compared it to population data. 

Here are six more findings:

  1. More than 167,000 Black residents in cardiology desert counties have to commute, on average, 87 miles to reach the nearest cardiology clinic.

  2. The states with the highest number of cardiology desert counties with sizable Black populations were Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, Alabama and Louisiana.

  3. Mississippi has the highest rate of cardiology deserts, with 67 percent of counties, or 51 out of 76, having no active cardiology practice.

  4. Cardiology deserts with a sizable Black community also had higher rates of obesity, diabetes, smoking, excessive drinking and physician inactivity compared to counties with a cardiology practice.

  5. More than 60 percent of cardiologists are at or approaching retirement age.

  6. More than 21.9 million Americans have no cardiologist in their county.

To eliminate cardiology deserts, the report recommends expanding office-based cardiology care through consultant clinics, increasing funding to programs that provide rural residents with graduate medical training, funding more health research, and promoting health education to reduce risk factors.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars